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Remove a Driver Package from the Driver Store

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2

The driver store is a protected area of the computer that contains device driver packages that have been approved for installation on the computer. For more information about the driver store, see Understanding Device and Driver Installation.

Removing a device driver package from the store does not uninstall any currently operational devices that use its driver. The installed copies of the driver files are not changed. Only the copy of the driver package in the store is deleted. After removing the package from the store, if a new device that uses this driver is plugged into the computer, Windows must search for the driver package by using the standard locations, which can include prompting the user for media.

This topic provides procedures that you can use to remove a device driver package from the driver store.

Membership in the local Administrators group, or equivalent, is the minimum required to complete this procedure. Review the details in "Additional considerations" in this topic.

Determine the name of the driver package in the driver store

Before you can remove the driver package, you need to know its name in the driver store. The .inf file name is changed to OEM#.inf, where # is a unique number.

To determine the name of the driver package in the driver store
  1. Open a command prompt that has administrator privileges. Click Start, All Programs, and Accessories, then right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as Administrator.

    noteNote
    The PnPUtil command-line tool does not work unless you run the command prompt as an administrator.

  2. If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Yes.

  3. At the command prompt, type the command:

    pnputil.exe -e

  4. Read the entries in the output to find the description of your package and its file name.

Remove a staged driver package from the driver store

After you know the .inf file name of the package in the driver store, you can remove the device driver package.

To remove a staged driver package from the driver store
  1. Open a command prompt with administrator privileges. Click Start, All Programs, and Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as Administrator.

    noteNote
    The PnPUtil tool does not work unless you run the command prompt as an administrator.

  2. If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Yes.

  3. At the command prompt, type the command:

    pnputil.exe -d Oem#.inf

    Make sure to replace the # with the number of the .inf file you want to remove.

    noteNote
    To see all of the command-line parameters for the PnPUtil tool, type the following at the command prompt: pnputil -?

  4. If the computer reports that the driver package is in use by a currently installed device, then you must either uninstall the device first, or use the -f on the pnputil command to force deletion of the package.

Additional Considerations
  • By default, membership in the Administrators group, or equivalent, is the minimum required to modify drivers in the driver store. A standard user can be delegated permission to install or uninstall a driver package. To delegate the right, place the device setup class for the driver in the policy Allow non-administrators to install drivers for these device classes. For more information, see Configure Computer Policy to Allow Non-Administrators to Install Specific Devices.

Additional references
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